During the conference I attended, rather than find a place in the crowded back half of the Expo or stand in line for the cafeteria/Starbucks fare – in a pursuit to feed the body – I wandered a few blocks down to feed the soul.
The Dallas Public Library!
When wandering into an unknown city, the cornerstone of sanity is either the bookstores (preferably independent ones) or the library. The Dallas Public Library had eight floors.
The beauty of the second floor, with its colorful art over the stairs, was the rule ‘no adults* present unless accompanied by a child.’ (Exceptions were made for librarians, teachers and out-of-towners.) A wall covered in blackboard paint allowed for free expression, along with everything geared towards and designed specifically for children. Loved it!
Another floor allowed for listening stations – capable of playing vinyl records, cassettes, cds and more. From record pressings of the earliest companies to local composers, the wealth of treasures to the ear was matches with the other half of the floor’s dedication to art.
Globes and maps galore helped researchers pinpoint locations mentioned in journals, biographies, etc. From settlers, founders and trailblazers to contemporary figures – Dallas had many a story to tell.
A small piece of literary history through these gates, a look at one of the early copies of Shakespeare’s works – one of many treasures on the seventh floor.
And a chance to see this without having to go to the east coast:
This detour was worth it and sure to be repeated in any other city I visit.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to be lost in the library?